Great Pastors Delegate (almost everything)

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the details bombarding your ministry, gifts, and passions? Then take a few moments to reflect on these verses:

2 Timothy 4:5
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (Italics added)

Ephesians 4:11
“…Apostles…prophets…evangelists…pastors and teachers, (are) to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up….” (Italics added)

Consider what these verses mean – if someone else can do what needs to be done, LET THEM!!! Give others the power, authority, and support necessary to serve the body and build the church. The church needs leaders who know their role, live their role, and discharge tasks beyond their role to other capable leaders who will accomplish the duties of the ministry. Reserve yourself to equip Christ’s body. Reserve yourself to be a shepherd. Reserve yourself to serve according to your spiritual gifts and passions. To do this, you must know your greatest gifts and passions, be confident enough to delegate, and possess the discipline to remain focused on your role in the church.

This raises a question that personifies the internal tug of war that most ministry leaders face: how can I discharge all the duties of my ministry and prepare God’s people for works of service when there are so many little details to accomplish and e-mails to delete?

In Acts chapter six, the apostles are confronted with the first recorded complaint in church history – a particular group of widows were not receiving a daily distribution of food. This complaint had the potential of derailing the apostles from their primary responsibilities and role in the church. With incredible wisdom, they take time to determine what matters most for their position in the church and communicate back to the disciples, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.” This was a gutsy statement that many ministry leaders would be criticized for making today. But the apostles didn’t drop the issue here, they responded to the urgency of the complaint by creating a service opportunity for other capable leaders – “…choose seven men…who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them…”. Once the disciples selected the appropriate leaders, the apostles delegated responsibility and empowered these new leaders to meet the growing ministry needs.

Like the apostles, when faced with urgent ministry matters, we must determine what matters most for our role in the church based upon our gifts and passions, utilize urgent ministry matters to create service opportunities for other gifted leaders, delegate responsibility, and empower new leaders to meet growing ministry needs.

Endnote: This blog was originally posted in 2002.

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